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U.S.- Mexico Relations

Series/Special. A former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico on 2013 issues that could effect Mexico, such as immigration and gun control. New.

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Mexico 68, United States 17, U.s. 11, Washington 6, Calderon 5, Mexico City 3, Steve 2, Pena Nieto 2, Duncan 2, Obama 2, Greece 2, Nieto 2, Europe 2, Us 2, New York 2, Us Understand 1, Pri 1, Official Union 1, Look 1, Michael 1,
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  CSPAN    U.S.- Mexico Relations    Series/Special. A former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico on 2013  
   issues that could effect Mexico, such as immigration and gun...  

    January 12, 2013
    11:30 - 1:05pm EST  

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director of the americas program. a preview of the looking at mexico, the run-up and aftermath of the 2012 electoral campaign. tracking democracy at a time of uncertainty. in 2011, there were no obvious front-runners. even according to duncan would, who wrote one of the first monographs in our series, the main issues seem to be security. after the runup, it was the same thing, beginning on the heels of the highest spike in violent crime in mexico's history. and following the ill-conceived u.s. operation, fast and furious. the national action party
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primary added drama, as did the campaign, in which security was still a huge issue. beneath the surface of mexico's public discourse, attitudinal changes were taking place. public safety began to recede as the candidates assured the public that they would not back down from the task of reducing criminal violence. issues of accountability, competitiveness, winning utility of monopolies jumped on to date -- waning utility of monopolies jumped onto the plate. surprise of surprises, lame duck president felipe calderon shepherded a landmark labor
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reform bill through congress. nieto cook on energy reform, education reform, and other issues -- took on energy reform, education reform, and other issues. to help us understand, i am pleased to introduce this distinguished panel. he was president of mexico's federal electric institute during the 2006 elections. director general of the mexico based consultancy. senior advisor to the americas program. he is the author of a new book --
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[speaking spanish] this is really the basis for understanding why some of the reforms are going on today, and by political parties are taking on a different direction. he is an economist in residence at the school of international service american university. he did his doctoral work at the university of chicago, and was a top economic diplomat in washington at the time of the naphtha negotiations. he was also chief of staff to the governor of the bank of mexico. more recently represented mexico during the task of leading up to the negotiations leading up to the u.s.-mexico initiative. he has been president of a
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number of key inflection points .uring u.s.-mexica he has served as ambassador to mexico and assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs. is an author as well. remember his fabulous book, "the u.s. and mexico." he is now a senior counselor with the common group. -- cohen group. now he is the new director of woodrow wilson center's mexico institute. congratulations on that. he is on the editorial board of foreign affairs, latino america.
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to get started, let's go ahead and start with you, luis carlos, on the evolution of mexico's political system. what may be the future of mexico's political parties. >> good morning. thank you for this invitation. let me give you a brief overview of what has happened and mexican democracy for the past 20 years or so. i argue in this new book, my guess is that mexico's elections and democracy have had a limited effect on the quality of democracy -- i stayed that
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mexico's elections and democracy have had a limited effect on the quality of democracy. client ellison got stronger. -- the rule of law is weak, as it was in the 20th century. is not a priority in the minds of most politicians in mexico. in general, mexicans lack of an esteemed for legality. that has been pretty much the same over the past 20 or 30 years. the levels of impunity and mexico continue to be above 90%. impunity has even increased.
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not only in terms of crimes, but also in political terms. in mexico, the political system simply do not assign consequences to the way politicians reform. it can be in congress, it can be in political life in general, it can be the way state governors work. to take the efficiency and mexico and usually you cannot -- you do not pay for your actions. impunity continues to be the name of the game. there is more transparency in the national government, but not so much of the local level. in general, the logic and nature
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of the political system is very much the same as it was 15 years ago. the two administrations, they were unsuccessful in transforming and deepening the changes needed in the political system. he did not try to make many more changes, with the exception of the transparency bill. nothing has happened. you see in a perspective that 12 years of the first two very fewnt's in mexico, changes. there was a transparency bill in 2002. there was a constitutional amendment in 2011 to expand the
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protection of human rights. for important. -- very important. just weeks before the end of president calderon's, there was a reform to the accountability, a bill to strengthen the accountability of state and local governments of mexico. there was a new labor law which i would say is very significant for the years to come. but in general, i would say the political system and mexico in the past 15 years has changed very, very little. why? why did mexico not transformed over the past 12 years? in 2000 in washington, it was a fashion to talk about a new beginning and mexico.
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-- in mexico. many began to experience some sort of frustration. why? i would say that mexico focus on elections. this idea that clean elections was the main route to a modern democracy was a mistake. many argued in those years that getting rid of the pri was everything, and the problems in mexico's politics was about people, not institutions. one idea, i think it is behind the lack of transformation in mexico. so what can we expect? i would say that we can expect a
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wave of structural reforms in mexico, telecommunications and their use, education. if 2000 what is symbolic arrival of democracy, an important moment, it was more symbolic than real. today, in 2012, 2013, real changes will begin to happen. it is not just about people. it is about the moment of the deepening of some economic reforms that were initiated in the 1980's an 1990's. probably we will see some
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action. in 2000, i was talking in a seminar at the americas society new york in the month of march march. it was about the anniversary of the new administration. it is premature and unjust to qualify his first hundred days in office. i would say it has been full of promises, programs, a great communication skills. but very few achievements, even lack of direction. his actions in office were insufficient. he was full of promises, but few actions. one of the new signs of the new administration in mexico is that it is being full of actions, rather than just -- this is not
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just something that has been part of that administration. i see two scenarios for the coming years in mexico. the first one is that this becomes the beginning of the most relevant period of political transformation in mexico's modern history. if 2000 was symbolic of democracy, the next can be transformations of the political
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system. fighting corruption, building a rule of law, broughtpromoting a culture of legality. the second scenario is after an initial series of changes in education, transparency, the administration focuses its attention to economic reforms, leaving behind political ones. energy reform, tax reform, and shaking up of the social security system. mexico becomes some sort of a rising star in the financial markets. therefore, if that happens -- it is likely that will happen -- we will see some sort of comfort in
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mexico. this can be the major obstacle to change the political system. if we perceive that this can happen because there are some international confluence, the fact that the brakes are declining, there is a crisis in europe, macroeconomic conditions in europe -- probably mexico will be a very attractive place for investment in the coming years. we consider ways of economic growth. -- can see ways of economic growth. the incentive to deepen political changes diminishes. but i think we will see some
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i think that the decision for education, zero telecommunications is probably the most important and relevant change we will see -- in telecommunications is probably the most important and relevant change we will see. today, pri has much more power than it had 12 years ago. it has the largest group in congress. that helps a lot in these initial moments of the administration. clinks very much. -- thanks very much. [applause] >> thank you very much. can you tell us where mexico's
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economy has come from, and what reforms are likely now? >> good morning, everyone. he asked me to talk about the mexican economy. reforms are needed and which are likely. that will take the next three days, with no brakes. -- breaks. [laughter] look at briefly what has happened since nafta.
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after the initial the battle in december of 1994, -- debacle in december of 1994, the mexican economy has had a mediocre evolution. mexico could have grown much faster, but what happened? basically, all the reforms that were going around nafta, privatization of a bloated and sector that were producing at close to 20% deficit -- you had to get rid of
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that to have a functioning state. all of those reforms were very successful. but then stopped. after the debacle, he spent the first three years of his administration and digging himself out of the wholhole. he had the brilliant idea of trying to pass a structural reforms when the pri no longer controlled congress. that was a serious mistake. none of those reforms passed the political reform passed, -- passed. the political reform passed. the right-wing opposition which had been the key element of crafting the previous reforms
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did exactly the opposite. in 1997 to 2000. i contend also that his idea of how to become anything but the bloat of black ink in the history books that he was going to become was to make sure that the opposition won the 2000 election. therefore, he became the father of democracy. the following years of the two administrations, with the were the repetition. in large part, due to the incompetence. calderon to an extent.
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he really thought he was running for queen of england. that is not the way things work in mexico. he left all the threads of power. the voids were filled by other people. he was totally unable to comprehend what he had to do to make reforms. that was not the case of calderon, but he was unable to forge the necessary alliance. this began changing in the last three months of the current administration. september 1 of last year -- calderon administration.
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september 1 of last year, the majority of the pri congressman are senators, were already receiving instructions from nieto, the president-elect. calderon had the opportunity of having an alliance in those last three months to pass reforms. in that brief period, they passed the always elusive labor reform. to make the labor system more flexible, to have universal free and secret ballots to elect union leaders coul.
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to oppose these reforms? -- who opposed these reforms? the so-called left. and you accounting law -- a new accounting law, it is crucial -- in the last 20 years, the rest in an increasing level of scrutiny and control -- there has been an increasing level of scrutiny and control. education reform that will create a professional career path for teachers based on their clinical educations and rigors thrigorous success.
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who oppose these reforms? the unions. the official union, the infamous, and the far more radical, to left union that opposes everything. they had promised to wage war on reform and try to block it. changing structures of the government, it appears several ministries including security which becomes part of it. a major burden to a well functioning government also
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changes radically. finally, this important package that was approved by the lame- duck -- the new congress, this in december, with nieto, was that budget and revenue act. usually what they do is go into a wee hours. eventually on the third of january, bupassed. they could take vacations from .oliday christma let us look at what nieto has promised in the 2013 budget.
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he promised to the roby if you budget deficit.cireduce the that includes the investments that are not included in the official budget. in reality, you have that 2.4%. the deficit is 0.4%. he ordered a series of spending increases, universal patient services for 65 and older. construction of a mexico city railroad. all of which costs 0.5% of gdp.
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the job of the new secretary of finance had to do with increasing revenues are cutting spending by almost 1% of gdp. he was able to do it in the following way. this had to be done with no new taxes. this was done not by lowering the income tax, as has been promised by previous administration. they now are assuming a rate of growth of 3.5%.
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that is how they balance the deficit.budget into zero the secretary of finance said two days ago that there will be no federal rescue for state municipalities that are bankrupt are getting there. there are many state and local governments that are bankrupt. the price of gasoline was the highest in one year and will help lower the subsidies but last year was close to $1.2 billion. mexico's gasoline is highly subsidized.
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it is administered by the government. finally, how worried should we be of the fiscal, economic and political implications of pena nieto? he made 95 commandments in his packed. -- commitments in his packet. since 1917, we're about to have 100 years celebration. we've changed more than 500 times.
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he is proposing changes that employs 17 constitutional amendments. fiscal reform that deals with taxation and spending, here the problem is that we only tax about 12% of gdp. the government spends about 20% of gdp. the difference being made by oil. 2008, the energy reform, very difficult. if you do not do fiscal reform first, you cannot do energy reform. you need the money. you have those two crucial reforms. that includes fighting agains
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it is the powers that be. you have to confront him and removed the yolk that we mexicans have around paying tribute to every single moment of our lives. all of these things mean you are paying tribute. that is going to be tough. television networks included. many of the promises are trying to convert mexico into a nice welfare state like greece. we know where greece this.
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he wants to make sure the rights of turning into fiscal entitlements for the population. cost of thatf could be 5% of gdp. where is that going to come from? another thing worries me enormously. it is the pursuit of the consensus. this was signed by the three main political forces. this is going to lead. why do you want a consensus of?
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and democracy is here for the majority. that is the way it should function. forget about the per diem. what are the prospects of? ? the jury is still out. we should try to make sure and weighed the cost of each of the promises as they tried to pick up reforms. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much. what do you have to add on the subject of reforms? >> we have the set up.
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>> good morning. it is a great pleasure to be here. a special thanks to steve and to michael who have worked with me throughout the two years of the project and a support me in the right direction. it is fabulous to be in washington, d.c. many of you have been here a lot longer. i have been here one month so i am still in love with the place. yet to wake up in the morning and not have immediate stress put upon me. to able to walk around the streets is a real joy. i have a six addiction.
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i will have to go back a lot. steve asked me to talk about the number of issues. he is asked me to talk about the prospects for reform. he is also ask me why reforms are being seen as so crucial? earlier on he mentioned a key word in understanding the current mood in mexico. a large part of the rhetoric of the election campaign was about having a government that would get things done. passes legislation. that hit at the heart of many criticisms. they were in effect. they were not able to generate that is needed within congress
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to get it passed. another question is about it is all well and good to pass legislation. perhaps we can get to this in the q and 8. the story so far in the new government, we have really only had a month of the new governments. it is a very ambitious reform agenda these are reforms that are seen as being necessary but you also begin to look at that legislative agenda over the next at least three years. you say how possibly are they going to fit all of this in? the published the legislative agenda for the first six months. that is pretty pact already.
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there a number of issues on reform that can be put into one package. it shows that there really is a desire to put these reforms on the agenda. it is about being an effective government. it is about hitting at the criticism that so many people within and outside a mexico have made over the past 6 fax 12 years. where is the change really happening? my opinion is that in terms of the legislation and the regulatory frameworks we have moved forward a substantial amount but not enough. the mexican economy is a different kind of economy that was 20 years ago.
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we have a number of reforms that have been passed. but still has to be signed into the lower course. it has to be improved by the state. when i was interviewed back in november and october of last year, people said what you think about chances for education reform. i said why would they want to go into that? at the beginning, why would you want to alienate 1 million teachers ta? that is a sign of the confidence of this government. they feel they have the ability to generate support behind their proposals. they coalesced around. this is an extraordinary
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achievement. the education reform is very important in understanding the political mood. success is breeding success. my feeling is that we have the labor reform that had a hiccup. it was produced. then have the education reform which is a constitutional reform that they said would be difficult. this was extraordinary how quickly that went through. then it was a prospect of vacationed the. it is amazing how quickly that came through. now there is a wave of optimism that this government think it issues in congress.
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there is the honeymoon time. internally, they are enjoying a honeymoon anything like we have seen. international, this is still relatively seeing by people. within mexico, there is a feeling that this is actually there to make a difference, not necessarily that it has changed fundamentally from what it was before. not necessarily that it is there to eliminate corruption are guaranteed security but to get things done. mexican voters were adamant about that. they wanted a government that could get step down.
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the honeymoon is intriguing in the sense that a lot of it is focused on other government ministers. he has spent a lot of time at the national palace making public appearances. he really is being presidential. at the same time his team is getting the job done. that is a good sign for his government. is a lot of ways that he can trip up. he is moving on very nicely. it has already been discussed here by the list reforms are so important. most people have always said that energy and fiscal reform need to go hand in hand because
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of the importance. they need to go hand in hand. they do not need to happen at the same time. i do not think he can negotiate the two things in the same session of congress. i was thrown off a little bit yesterday. my former students that he was hired by the secretary of energy to put together the proposal to the present it at the end of the summer. i said that goes against everything i thought. this morning i saw the newspapers with the legislative agenda. i speak we have to look here at the political outlook -- i think we have to look here at the political outlook. even though it is a peculiar creature and a lot of us are
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wondering how it will play out, doesn't continue to be a public relations exercise? doesn't actually mean something adat so far we have not hav much time to discuss it. they are in a peculiar although not unknown situation. it is divided internally. they are going through a soul- searching exercise. i would say this does help this on many issues in congress. i was worried that this might play against energy reform.
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it seems as though it may not be the case. this is an interesting situation. now that they are outside of the party it frees them up in the way they have not been before. talking with colleagues in mexico city, most of them will say we cannot come up publicly in support union transparency. there are few that say we except that these things need to happen in public. there are a lot of reasonable people.
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there is a young girl generation who are much more progressive and middle of the road. it is interesting to hear what they have to say. this is generally the obstacle to reform. people have said it is well and good that this comes on site and they provide this to get to lower the 2/3 majority. what about the old guard? there has been a generational shift. there are a lot of younger members who except that things still need to change. a lot of people have an economic way of thinking. there are lots of people who were vehemently approached --
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opposed. this is a shift which really batters. this is something which was raised in an interview with myself the other day. how do you overcome those vested interest? the union is often seen as being the big force that will oppose the energy reform. they have been very quiet. this is how unions work. they play along and then say no. that is where the maximize their input. that is an unknown quality.
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in 2008 they were recognized to be a more ambitious reform of the oil and gas sector. they thought they would lose out on the contract they were getting. now they can turn that around. they can see ways to do this. public opinion has softened significantly on the question of energy reform. we do not have any data on it. why don't mean not have an up- to-date in questor on in mexican public opinion that they say that is a good idea.
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i know they have contacted for that. and still trying to get my hands on reliable data. mexicans care a lot less about it than they did before. i started seeing posters appearing in my neighborhood. now it is your turn to resist the evil oil companies coming in. i saw one or two of them and then nothing else. i think you have an emerging consensus in mexico that something needs to change dramatically. what that is is disputed.
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>you have to get energy reform through. this will be fundamental. how long does it take? they are supporting key players. we will begin to find up in february. shaping the proposal. how is it designed? is it more or less ambitious? we are not talking about privatization. will we get to production sharing agreements? yes, we will. whether or not that is possible is another question. as long as economic growth
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continues to be healthy, that is a positive factor we have to bring in. production figures, it is always interesting to see how and when production figures come out and in what way they are presented. this has been a debate. it looks as though production has slipped. that often happens because of bad weather. it'll be interesting to see whether it reports higher production figures. it seems now that we are going to have energy in the first six months of this year.
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i leave a copy of this presentation. we see the legislative agenda. you see how many of the issues are directly related. >> the final word we get to the ambassador. how would you characterize the change in u.s./mexican relations since 2000 t? where are they handed? if we were meeting today in mexico city, much of the similar
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panel would be familiar to what we have heard today. if there were talking about the united states. they would say there is a general consensus that reform is necessary on major issues. there is no general consensus. there is grave doubt as to where the system will be able to overcome to produce in the united states important reforms that will leave this country in a reformed state as opposed to hard battles that will results
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reforms that are ineffective. that question is paramount. it is paramount in the united states as we look at some of the same issues. having said that, despite the vast differences between mexico and the united states, we really are quite similar. there is the feeling that something new is needed. the does not seem to be a consensus on how to get there. in general terms, i think how
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each of the government's in l with -- governments dea the reforms will require a great deal of care. i will explain that. i think most of the people in this room understand the relationship between mexico and the united states is generally a healthy relationship. this is not always visible or understandable in terms of the daily press. it is easily bothered by specific issues, some quite important. generally speaking, our relationship with mexico is a good one. it has improved very
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significantly. we saw levels of cooperation, particularly in terms of coordination and collaboration that would have been absolutely unthinkable just a decade ago. this made a significant decision to cooperate with the united states and the ensign of card except for that we can talk about maybe we will. there is no question that the level of cooperation and exchange of intelligence, and the training programs, the probable direct involvement of
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police from both sites do not exist. this is something that would have been unheard of when i was ambassador. within this context of a generally good relationship which is not always appear that way in the public mind, we have to think of how, when we deal with two new administration's, how they will interact or how they should deal with the tether -- with each other as they go through very significant reform or attempts at reform.
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on the fiscal level, i think there is relatively little interface if the united states manages to debate and get its house in order or not. the same with mexico. in some ways, mexico's problems are less. these are not issues that are likely to become topics of a bilateral public or government. the united states and mexico should be immensely dedicated to promoting trade and commercial
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integration. that is the name of the game. we ought to be working very hard together to promote the partnership which is a new trading path. i think the focus on individual fiscal issues is likely to diminish the available time and efforts available for a key question. ha ha that is my perce at -- that is my perspective. once thought about the individual issues -- sub about
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the individual issues and how they should be involved are not be involved. if i'm asked to give advice on by the mexican and u.s. government, neither government is asking me, you do not have to worry. i tell them to just shut up, sit down, and what the process developed. do not yet involved. this may be the position that the individual governments might take, but certainly in the times of the democratic systems which are difficult to control and put any order in terms of our respected congressional responses.
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this is totally uncontrollable. we will see too much commentary that will not be helpful. in the united states we have reform, to issues of a reform agenda which will prove to be highly contentious, which will have implications for mexico. the other is gun control. on immigration there seems to be a consensus in sales last election that something must be done.
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even for political reasons it seems to be within the republican party and intend to do something. be on that, there is no real consensus. once we get into it, and i think we will, i think president obama is obliged to push the issue, we will find that all of the issues that have pledged every effort have played this for a dozen years such will once again become apparent. what to do with the people who are already in the country. how to preserve and protect the borders. the focus on the border is really only part of the issue. most people did not come across
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the border. they came across their international airport. -- true international airports. this will be immense interest. we can depend upon our congress to frame this debate with language that is nothing but demeaning and insulting to mexico. having said that, what should the mexican response be? i go back to my first point. there is nothing that can be meaningfully added. this is a unilateral decision on behalf of the united states.
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it is not going to be influenced by the perspective and the words and the actions of any other government. the same thing applies to guns. in the last month or so we have been focusing on this issue. this has been a principal point of conflict over the past couple of years. these are the gun laws in the united states. they have complained
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consistently about this. it appears president obama will do this as an element of reform. events have told the administration toward having to do something about gun control. this will be difficult and an ugly battle. what should mexico do about it? i go back to my previous point. there is no real rule for in this debate. there may be in both the gun debate and in the immigration debate some minor rules for the mexican government in terms of
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cooperation. immigration, it does seem to me if we're ever going to get a handle on the question of temporary worker vises or different forms of immigration policies, some form of cooperation in establishing labor exchanges in mexico that could be run by the government would be useful. if we look at the major issues of reform in mexico, it does seem to me one of these could be of extreme interest to the united states, energy reform, i
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think success of u.s. government have done a good job and avoiding public comment on specifics of energy reform. that should be continued. our involvement can only be used by the confluence of energy reform to their advantage. i do think the government' and mexico will take up the reform. what they will be able to do, how far they can go, how effective the reform will be is up in the air. the worst thing that could
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happen would be a long, it difficult politically divisive battle about constitutional reform as it relates to energy that actually turned out not per produce a change at all. that is a possibility. a horrible battle may be without really changing a great deal. let me conclude by saying this. both countries have very significant reform agendas. how capable each country will be developing effective change is quite open to question. i think the debates themselves
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and the focus of these issues will take attention away from other topics that probably should be handled or discussed or reinforced. almost inevitably, it seems to me the results of the reform efforts, given the nature of our democracies, will be less and maybe even much less than those who are most actively proposing reform and change. there would be a level of disappointment both domestically and internationally. i do feel the relationship is a strong one. we will find ways to muddle through our disappointments. both countries will be able to
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live ahead. i hope to even deeper in the relationship. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. we now come to questions and answers. i would ask if you do have a question that you raise your hands, we for a microphone. and state your name and organization to whom you want to direct your question. following the events, we do have some copies of his book. we will have a table set up where we will be able to sign them as well.
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i already have my copy. start with thes questions and answers. >> am i wrong in thinking that the most remarkable thing about this discussion is how little the role of the united states is in this? people are not sitting around talking about the united states the way they do in in discussions about mexico. what makes me think of this particularly is i was the foreign affairs producer on the news hour on september 7, 2001. we got the only major media interview with the president when he had this big glamorous a visit to washington.
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he put a lot of his chips on the table about the common labor market. four days later we had 9/11. you're almost being a little unfair to him. a lot is the failure of this presidency because of external events in 9/11. maybe he bet on the wrong horse. and my incorrect in thinking we are talking mexican issues. it is not anything like a central player. in terms of changes, i think the role of the u.s. is by this thing very cautious about
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interfering in domestic debates. i think this would be the main reform in mexico. there bring together all the systems. i would say that mexico is better by the u.s. being very cautious in making that public opinion. i would say the usa/mexico relationship will be changed. i will say the lack of transformation in mexico makes it a very relevant partner for the u.s. we will again be the 1990's partner for the u.s.
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i think that the u.s. does not have an important role to play in the coming months in terms of what will happen in moscow domestically. -- in mexico domestically. >> we will start over here. we have two in front over here. >> thank you. i from the college. i am also his probation officer. i'm here in a dual capacity. we are seeing a concentration of power that will have full control. ssp has been dissolved.
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what does this offer for a change of security in the country? >> i am a publisher for eight diplomat. -- for a diplomat. mention public opinion. what is the future of the st. in politics? >> thank you.
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the question is for duncan. given the new emphasis on the strategy, what can we expect in changes to the military relations between mexico and the less for the past six years? thank you. >> would you like to start? i do not think there any questions for me.
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>> you are all working your electronic bracelets. >> those were very necessary changes. i commend mr. pena nieto for that. having the teeth provided by the functioning federal police and direct control over the mexican version of the cia, i think that makes a much stronger levered to deal with the issues of state and local. the chaos grew. i think it is a great change.
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>> to begin with, michael said earlier on, one of the dangers of us not talking about the united states as much is that so many people here do not get mexico. they do not understand how important mexico is for the united states. they do not understand how much they depend on mexico for jobs. i have been in washington for five weeks. the what about that. that is a potentially positive story that is happening right there. we need to understand that a lot better.
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many people said this is dangerous. that you are creating a second government there. i am not sure i see it in that same way. i think there is the potential for improving coordination between different agencies of the government's and being on the same page. i think that is great from this concentration of combining a different powers of government. whether or not it has impact remains to be seen. what exactly can the federal government do to reduce levels of violence in mexico? in terms of impacting on the natural relationship with the united states, having one agency that will be able to share
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information i think is a positive step forward. it has always been commented on. who do we talked to? who can we trust? maybe you can not trust any of them. i do not know. there is a clear path of where to go to. i really like this question. my feeling is that mexican politics has changed fundamentally. the streets soon not matter. before that politicians would react to that. look what happened in the labor reforms. they shut down. what did the politicians stay? we are in sight. it is not make any difference.
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if they take to the streets and conduct a prolonged campaign, and that may bring you back to the forefront. what i doubt is they have the resources to do that. anys he going to finance of this? in 2006 he had to pay people to be on the streets. the filling of politics has changed in mexico. thank you. that was a great question. this is one of the major concerns. been asked as questions three years ago. this is always a tricky beast.
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it is so closed. they do not want to open up to the outside world. does not want to engage in communication with other militaries. that is how it has traditionally been. there is a slight shift taking place that has increased. part of it is generational. there are small signs the did not used to go to, ascending higher level people, engaging more and more conversations with other military forces. that institutional change neaps to be nurtured. that is where the danger lies. if the pena nieto government is not willing to invest in that,
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it could fall back to the way it was before. offers us a more optimistic outlook. they are always there at the table poking the army, we've got to do some sort of joint exercises. the farminarmy is saying that it you do. now i think the army is saying we would like to have a little bit of that. >> the real issue to me seems less of one in the military to military cooperation. that has been important. the real hub of activity in
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security forces in mexico has been u.s. civilian agencies with the military. the navy has been easier to work with in some ways than the army. they are separate ministries. the relationship between those u.s. civilian agencies including the cia with their mexican counterparts, now the reorganization inputing most of these may be a very important developments in terms of efficiency and what have you. the real issue is whether the
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level of cooperation that we willseen and ineffectiveneseffs be able to continue. that is a very major issue. if the relationship between the american civilian agencies and their counterparts in mexico becomes hostile, that could have an impact on many other elements of the relationship. it goes quite beyond. i think all of these issues that will have an impact on their relationship with the united
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states is this whole question of restructuring the security services and how they then interact with their american counterparts. military to military is important bill less important than what i just said. the >> we have time for just two more questions if they are brief. i think we have one gentlemen here and one in the back row. >> the one issue we have not talked on is one of the drivers of the election. that is the rate in criminal violence. i am wondering what the panel has to say about pineal nieto -- pena nieto's plans.
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>> what is the impact of all of this? do you really expect the education reform to make a difference in education in mexico? >> let me make an argument. i think we will see some changes. the real question is the political parties to push energy, tax reform, and social security. if it has been successful it is
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because it is very popular to be in favor of better education in mexico. once the energy bill comes to the floor, i think the honeymoon will be over. if you want to have an effective energy reform it is impossible to have consensus. it will be over at some point in this year. it is very evident. the question is not whether we will have some reforms. the question is whether they will be and not votes -- whether there will be enough votes and whether it will be implemented in the coming years. everybody is talking about the
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education bill. the implementation will take years to have a real education. how will this be in the coming years? this will take years to have an impact. >> to comments. -- two comments. i agree that when the battle is essentially joins over the question of energy of reform which will require some
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amendments, and that it not be a unanimous consensus. likely reform will not be there. there will be tremendous amounts of battle. i doubt there will be a total consensus. it will probably not be worth very much anyhow. i think the administration has to make up its mind. this is not for minor reform that will also require heavy battle.
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in terms of the question of violence, i think for the mexican public, the issue is not will there be more or less drugs flowing into the united states. i think that is not the issue is of concern. the real question is the level of violence, will the new administration, will the new security apparatus that being created, will this lower the level of violence. not only the fighting among cartels, but general violence that applies to individuals in their daily lives. the level of extortion, kidnappings, bad guys on the street. that will be the principal way
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that the mexican public judges the pena nieto regime. wo, three, six years from now safer than they were before. >> it is clear that pena nieto is going to approach the issue of the war against drugs in a completely different manner than calderon. he is not going to call for the decapitation of policy that was followed in the previous six years. he is going to basically declared victory, move on, and fight violence. that is the issue. that might turn out to be -- to make certain agencies in washington not all that happy.
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she is powerful, but i think she can be dealt with quite effectively. the information that can be used to deal with her to persuade her to cooperate -- everyone said that the famous leader of the oil workers could not be touched. he was dealt with very effectively in the first month or so. the same can be done with labo.
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>> about the energy reform, i had a conversation with the president of the senate energy commission, back in november. he said, we're going to have to invest an enormous amount of political capital in getting energy reform. the missile make it an ambitious energy reform. -- we may as well make it an ambitious energy reform. if you combine that with comments from others, i think that gives you an idea. they know it is not going to be unanimous, this is not about consensus, but it is about generating enough of a consensus to get the legislation passed. >> thank you to our panelists.
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thanks very much for being with us today. [applause] and your audience, and like you to come up and talk with the panelists. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> next, new york democrat andrew cuomo. later, new jersey republican chris christie. >> student camera video entries with your message to the president are now do. get them